Gavish sues IBA, claiming misuse of funds

Gavish, a lawyer who was IBA chairman from February 2007 to June 2009, waived his salary rights and offered to work for nothing.

Moshe Gavish 390 (photo credit: Courtesy of IBA)
Moshe Gavish 390
(photo credit: Courtesy of IBA)
Moshe Gavish, the immediate past chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, is suing the IBA, claiming misuse of money that had been ear-marked to encourage journalists to be shining examples of the profession.
Gavish, a lawyer who was IBA chairman from February 2007 to June 2009, waived his salary rights and offered to work for nothing.
This did not sit well with the IBA institutions and management because it would set a precedent that might be embarrassing for Gavish’s successors. This led to an agreement whereby he would receive a third of the salary to which he was entitled and two-thirds would be ear-marked as incentives and prizes for journalists.
The IBA plenum approved this signed agreement that Gavish initiated.
On February 2, 2009, it was agreed that the accumulated portions of salary that Gavish had waived would be transferred to a special fund for the benefit of journalists.
When Gavish resigned in June 2009, there had been no implementation of the agreement, and as far as he is aware, this is still the case.
He has therefore filed a suit against the IBA in the Jerusalem Labor Court and is demanding NIS 400,000 that he asserts is owed to him for 30 months of work.
He has pledged not to make personal use of this money, but to direct it to the purpose for which it was intended.
Gavish is also suing the IBA’s legal adviser Hannah Matzkevich, who according to Gavish, drew up the contract between him and the IBA and was involved in the process of establishing the fund.
Gavish claims that she now denies her involvement, and that she recommended that the decision of the IBA plenum in relation to the fund be abrogated.
Aside from waiving the larger part of his salary, Gavish also paid out of his own pocket for any expenses he incurred in the course of carrying out his duties for the IBA. This included representing the IBA at events in many parts of the country.
Gavish, also commissioned a survey that led to the current recommendations for reform which were largely accepted by the previous government, the institutions of the IBA and the various unions to which IBA employees belong.
Gavish resigned due to the ongoing foot-dragging with regard to implementing the reforms. The IBA still operates under a massive deficit. The hundreds of employees who were supposed to go out on early retirement are still working and labor relations continue to be sour.
While aware that Gavish had taken legal action, the IBA had no response by late afternoon on Sunday, and released a statement to the effect that it had not yet received the documentation, and that until it studied the contents of the suit, it was not in a position to comment.